Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul center Tibor Pleiss made his first start of the season one to remember by leading his team to a derby win and earning MVP honors for Round 8 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. Pleiss scored 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting, grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked 3 shots for a performance index rating of 28, which was the highest among all players from winning teams in Round 8. In a sign of his dominance, Galatasaray outscored Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul by 14 in the minutes Pleiss played, but was outscored by 10 when he sat. Galatasaray won the game 85-81. The highest index rating for the week came from Zalgiris Kaunas big man Paulius Jankunas, whose 37 was both the second-highest of his career and the second-best in the EuroLeague this season. Jankunas poured in a career-high 30 points, drew 10 fouls, made 13 of 15 free throws and grabbed 8 rebounds in his team's 95-86 loss at CSKA Moscow. If the MVP for the round was based on maximum performance in minimum time, it might well have been Jeff Ayres of CSKA, who amassed an index rating of 26 in just 12:34 of playing time. Ayres scored 13 points on 11-of-12 free-throw shooting, drew 8 fouls and grabbed 7 rebounds to spark his team when it was needed most. Rounding out the list of the round's top performers were Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce Istanbul, Johannes Voigtmann of Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz and Anthony Randolph of Real Madrid. Sloukas recorded 21 points on near-perfect shooting and 4 assists in his team's 88-80 derby victory over rival Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Voigtmann collected 20 points and 9 rebounds in an 81-74 come-from-behind win against Brose Bamberg, while Randolph had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in a huge 63-102 win over archrival FC Barcelona Lassa.
Individual leaders: Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris Kaunas - 30 points
Jankunas's 30-point performance was the most of any scorer in Round 8. Unics Kazan guard Keith Langford leads the league in scoring with 24.6 points per game. No player amassed more rebounds in Round 8 than Bamberg forward Nicolo Melli, who with 12 climbed to the top of the season-long charts and is now averaging 8.5 rebounds per game. Nick Calathes had 9 assists for Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens in its derby loss to Olympiacos Piraeus. His 7.8 assists per game rank second in the league behind October MVP Milos Teodosic (8.0 apg.) of CSKA. Three players tied for the most steals of the round with 4 each: Shane Larkin of Baskonia, Emir Preldzic of Galatasaray and Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce. Larkin is the full season leader with 2.1 steals per game. Pleiss, Randolph and Barcelona's Ante Tomic were the Round 8 leaders in blocked shots with 3 apiece. Galatasaray big man Alex Tyus leads the league with 1.9 blocks per game. Melli, who had 12 points and 12 boards, and Randolph were only two players to recorded double-doubles in Round 8.